Legal challenge over heart units

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HEALTH officials are preparing to contest a legal challenge about children’s heart units, which involves the one at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF) is bringing forward the proceedings in a bid to try and save the unit at Leeds General Infirmary.

As part as a review, the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) decided to keep the Newcastle facility open and close the one in Yorkshire.

CHSF has also put forward a proposal where both could remain open, although at the end of a year each centre would have to demonstrate that they are fully compliant with all of the standards set by the Safe and Sustainable board.

But in a statement, the JCPCT said: “We are advised by our lawyers that the CHSF’s alternative proposal is unworkable and would disrupt the process of implementation across England.”